Date of Award
Master of Science in Applied Ecology (MS)
College, School or Department Name
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Rodney A Chimner
Forested wetlands throughout the world are valuable habitats; especially in relatively species-poor northern regions, they can be considered biological hotspots. Unfortunately, these areas have been degraded and destroyed. In recent years, however, the biological importance of wetlands has been increasingly recognized, resulting in the desire to restore disturbed habitats or create in place of destroyed ones. Restoration work is taking place across the globe in a diversity of wetland types, and research must be conducted to determine successful techniques. As a result, two studies of the effects of wetland restoration and creation were conducted in forested wetlands in northern Michigan and southern Finland.
In North America, northern white-cedar wetlands have been declining in area, despite attempts to regenerate them. Improved methods for successfully establishing northern white-cedar are needed; as a result, the target of the first study was to determine if creating microtopography could be beneficial for white-cedar recruitment and growth. In northern Europe, spruce swamp forests have become a threatened ecosystem due to extensive drainage for forestry. As part of the restoration of these habitats, i.e. rewetting through ditch blocking, Sphagnum mosses are considered to be a critical element to re-establish, and an in-depth analysis of how Sphagnum is responding to restoration in spruce swamp forests has not been previously done. As a result, the aim of the second study was to investigate the ecophysiological functioning of Sphagnum and feather mosses across a gradient of pristine, drained, and restored boreal spruce swamp forests.
Kangas, Laura C., "Restoration of forest wetlands: Case studies in Michigan and Finland", Master's Thesis, Michigan Technological University, 2012.